The Hole in My Soul
I really should be in bed by now, but I wanted to share something that struck me today while driving home from class.
As a Christian, I believe that God created all of us for worship - we all worship something; that's part of who we are. I think, however, that God did more than just make us worshippers...I think God designed us so that we desire to be loved.
Paschal speaks of a "God shaped vacuum" in all of us, and I find that helpful. God has created this cavity within our souls and we all spend our lives trying to fill it.
In most cases, we go about it entirely the wrong way - we love ourselves (which devolves into selfishness), or we try to get others to love us (through performance, manipulation, fear, sympathy...we're pretty creative here). Hunter did it his way; I do it mine. But we all try to slake that thirst and nothing really satisfies, because God has designed it so that HE is the only peg that plugs that hole in our soul.
So there stands God, offering me all the affirmation I could ever want. Why is it that I have such a hard time embracing it?
Just this - I want God to want me because of me, because of what I am, because he needs me. In short - I want God to want me the way I want others to want me; I don't want God to fill my void, I want to be the thing that fills God's void...I want to be God.
And God says, nothing doing. There's nothing in me that is valuable in and of itself. The only reason for God loving me arises in him, not in me. He decided he would love me, and he decided that faith in Christ would be means of experiencing that fulfillment.
And that bothers me, because I want to be worth something to God, on my own, apart from him. That's why I constantly twist his gospel, to try and commend myself. Rather than simply acknowledging my own lack of worth, and believing that he will love me anyway.
That's faith. That's what God promises. And that's the only way we experience his love.
You see, God calls us to love one another the same way (because of him, not them). I generally do a pretty lousy job of it. But my wife loves me this way, and seeing that kind of love expressed does something amazing to my heart. Being caught dog dead in my sin, and yet receiving forgiveness and grace rather than the wrath I deserve.
You see, if you really knew me, deep down, I'm not sure how many of you would like me. Of all the people in the world, Marilyn is the only one who knows me for who I really am, she has seen the blackness of my heart...and she loves me anyway.
In spite of myself, for the sake of Christ.
My wife illustrates Christ's love for me; she incarnates the gospel. And that is what Christ calls us to do as well. We need to preach that gospel to ourselves. We need to practice it on others. This truth more than any other has revolutionized my life; it will do wonders for the hole in your soul.